Breakout sessions dive into detail about specific topics that are top-of-mind for Forum attendees.

These highly regarded and anticipated breakouts include a wide variety of content and feature excellent presenters from some of the leading companies in the travel industry.

Wednesday, march 29

Breaking trail: who will lead tomorrow's mountain industry?

Follow up Workshop to General Session

Follow up Workshop Panelists from the morning General Session dig in with the attendees to address the issues of today’s leadership challenges in the mountain industry. The interactive session concludes with information about Camber Outdoors, the organization dedicated to achieving equality for all women in the outdoors,from backcountry to boardroom. Camber Outdoors represents an answer to the "Now What" questions that are sure to arise with a specific way for organizations and individuals to push the needle forward in achieving more diversity in industry leadership.

Presented by: 

  • Deanne Buck, Executive Director, Camber Outdoors 
  • Melissa Maher, Senior Vice President,Global Partnerships, Expedia 
  • Michael Colburn, Vice President Sales, Marketing and Communications,Stowe Mountain Resort
  • Olivia Rowan, Publisher, Ski Area Management Magazine (SAM)

Moderated by Paul Thallner, Partner, Great Places to Work

traversing the skier's path

Sojern and Google dig into the avalanche of data surrounding a traveler's path to purchasing the ultimate ski getaway. We'll unpack the insights, including walking you through the flurry of searches travelers perform to find their perfect hotel, flight, car rental, and more. We'll then show you how you can transform these insights into strategic campaigns that reach the right skier, at the right time, on the right device, with the right message.

Presenters include:

Sales 101: Peak Selling: Essential sales skills for the Mountain Travel industry

This workshop provides concepts and learning that need to be reinforced at all levels of professional sales, and are particularly important for salespeople still learning the ropes about selling in the Mountain Travel industry. We will explore the importance of attitude, empathy, enthusiasm, and empathy as key behaviors that lead to success in sales, customer service, and hospitality.

Presented by John Morgan, President, Dialogue Business Strategy

Wednesday, march 29

Sales 201: Clearing the Gap: Selling the way between expectations and reality

This session is for experienced sales professionals. Topics include negotiation and conflict management, understanding how positions, intentions, and motivations influence the sales process. Making the jump from "order takers" to true sales managers and learning effective leadership styles to inspire and motivate sales people, manage partnerships, and build trusted relationships.

Presented by John Morgan, President, Dialogue Business Strategy

Micro Moments of Truth: How and Where Travelers Are Turning for Information 

Google recently studied the changing behavior of travelers and found that increasingly, people are turning to their smartphones for immediate answers to their travel questions. These new behaviors have had major implications on how we market to our customers within the consumer decision journey. Increasingly, our marketing needs to be there to answer these questions, as opposed to the more traditional method of communicating our key messages. The presentation will focus on how resort and travel destination marketers can keep up with these new mobile behaviors looking at specific examples and clear ideas on how to apply this research in your own marketing.

Presented by:

Reaching travelers on the platforms they use the most- Facebook - and Instagram on mobile

Learn how to build your brand, drive bookings, and measure the impact on your business. We’ll show you how to reach potential travelers on the platform they use the most – their mobile device. You’ll see new research on how mobile impacts travel decisions. And finally, we’ll discuss Facebook’s people-based measurement approach that helps marketers understand their campaign's impact based on real people. Travel marketers can see how different campaign strategies deliver real business outcomes for their business, and compare ad performance across every channel.

Presented by Christine Warner, Travel Head of Industry, Facebook

Thursday, march 30

The journey begins but it never ends: how to turn first-timers into destination travelers

Creating destination skiers and snowboarders doesn't happen overnight. Being effective requires collaboration among all aspects of the industry – resorts (local and destination), retailers, suppliers, instructors - who all play a unique role in converting neophytes into savvy travelers. All aboard. Join us for a lively discussion as we dissect this complex issue.

Presenters include:

  • Mary Jo Tarallo, Executive Director, Learn to Ski and Snowboard/Bring a Friend Initiative
  • Paul Pinchbeck, President and CEO, Canadian Ski Council
  • Carolyn Stimpson, Vice President and Owner, Wachusett Mountain

Revving Up Your Profits

Airlines invented revenue management (known as Yield Management) in the 1980’s. By the 1990’s Marriott jumped on-board and hoteliers began to catch on. The ski industry has been slow to adopt progressive revenue management especially resort pricing for lifts, lessons and rentals and vacation rental properties. Take a deep dive into revenue management with experts who are leading the way.

Presenters include:

Moderated by Douglas Quinby, Vice President Research, Phocuswright

Fresh Tracks

Get outside your comfort zone. We’ll be doing a design workshop where you’ll be re-thinking the sales experience from your customer’s perspective. It’s a totally fresh way to look at your strategy and plans. And the best part is that the session takes place on the slopes. We’ll start with a bus ride to Lake Louise, then continue with the session on skis, followed by more session time over lunch (attendees pay for lunch) and then the session ends on the bus ride home. Fresh Tracks is an interactive session that challenges the group to work as a team to quickly design a new sales strategy and approach. You'll leave with hands-on experience in how to create a customer-centric approach, strategy and plan with your whole team. Limited to 24 participants, must be pre-registered, first come, first served basis.

Presented by:

  • Amy Kemp, Cofounder, Camp 9600, Founder, ELEVATE (Co-working spaces), Founder, Mountaintop Media

Transportation provided by Banff Airporter

thursday, march 30


The hotel industry has enjoyed nearly continuous growth for more than six years, but how much longer can this growth cycle last? This session will review the past winter season, with a focus on US and Canadian resort markets, and explore the reasons behind shrinking RevPAR growth.

Presented by Alison Hoyt, Director, Consulting and Analytics, STR

How to Use Conversational Commerce and Chat Bots in the Travel Industry

2016 was considered the year of conversational commerce with chat bots emerging as a new interface for customer interaction, but where do travel companies stand? Chat bots have been deployed by airlines, hotels, and OTA’s, but what opportunities are there for ski resorts to develop chat bots and other applications that use language-based digital assistants? We’ll take a look at the state of the industry, opportunities and challenges of this emerging channel and explain why it’s important to integrate chat bots into your digital strategy now.

Presented by Mike Slone, Chief Experience Officer, Travelaer

Fresh Tracks continues at Lake Louise

Transportation provided by Banff Airporter